Neurological Testing

Neurological Testing

About the test

Somatosensory testing is performed by providing surface stimulation to a patient’s lower limbs. This procedure is useful to determine the integrity of the neurological pathways as well as help diagnose the nature of any possible sensory impairment.  It is used to evaluate:

  • Numbness, tingling or burning sensations in the feet and legs.

What happens during a neurological study?

For the neurological exam you will be asked to lie down on your back on the exam chair. The examiner will ask if you have noticed any lower-extremity neuropathy symptoms (numbness, tingling sensation, burning or aching pain). You will be asked to close your eyes during the study. Test sites are prearranged to examine various peripheral nerves of the foot.

What does it show?

A lower somatosensory test is a very useful screening procedure that evaluates the severity of sensory disturbance to the nerves in your feet. The goals of the neurological examination are several:

1.   For patients presenting with symptoms suggestive of a neurological problem, the examination will:

  • Determine, on the basis of an organized and thorough examination, whether in fact neurological dysfunction exists.
  • Identify which component(s) of the neurological system are affected (e.g. motor, sensory, cranial nerves, or possibly several systems simultaneously).
  • If possible, determine the precise location of the problem (e.g. peripheral v central nervous system; region and side of the brain affected etc.).
  • On the basis of these findings, generate a list of possible etiologies.

2.   Screen for the presence of discrete abnormalities in patients at risk for the development of neurological disorders.

This is appropriate for individuals who have no particular subjective symptoms suggestive of a neurological problem, yet have systemic illnesses that might put them at risk for subtle dysfunction. Diabetic patients, for example (particularly those with long standing poor control), may develop peripheral nerve dysfunction. This may only be detected through careful sensory testing which would have important clinical implications.

3.   Cursory screening/documentation of baseline function for those who are otherwise healthy.


At the Family FootCare Center, we specialize in: